NATIONAL coach Vincent Reyes on Thursday reiterated his wish to have the best talent available for what he said is the "colossal task" of representing the country in the Asian basketball championships in Manila in August.
Although elated by Fiba Asia's decision to move the tournament from strife-torn Lebanon to Manila, the Smart Gilas coach said he is "apprehensive more than ever" over the task of winning the championship before home fans.
"Much as we'd like to rejoice, I am filled with apprehension because more than ever it's a 'must-win' for us," said Reyes in an SMS message sent to Spin.ph from Dubai, where Smart Gilas is competing in an international tournament.
Smart Gilas ruled the Jones Cup in Taipei and finished fourth in the Fiba Asia Cup late last year with a team of PBA stars that still lacked a couple of players on Reyes' wish list.
The national team's problems turned worse ahead of the Dubai tournament when only a sprinkling of professional players showed up for the practices of Gilas, forcing Reyes to make do with a team made up mostly of collegiate standouts from the national cadet pool.
"While I never shy away from a challenge, I hope to have the best talent at my disposal in this colossal task," Reyes added.
For that to happen, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas may need to re-work its agreement with the PBA, which makes its players available for the national team on the condition that the league's tournaments are not affected.
As it is, the August 1-11 schedule of the Asian championships already poses a problem since it is just a few days from the end of the league's final conference, meaning the players of teams playing in the finals likely won't be available for Gilas.
(Credits goes to Sports Interactive Network Philippines)
#PBA2016 Govs' Cup Roundup: July 15-16, 2016 - 23 hours ago
The 2016 PBA Governors' Cup kicked off last week with big wins from NLEX, Ginebra, Meralco, and Mahindra. Game Capsules (adapted from Interaksyon): NLEX ROAD WARRIORS over BLACKWATER ELITE, 96-90 NLEX import Henry Walker made a big impression in his PBA return, scoring 44 points to lead his Road Warriors past the gutsy Blackwater Elite, 96-90, in the PBA Governors' Cup on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena. Walker shot 15-for-25 (60-percent) from the field and 6-for-13 (46-percent) fr... [read more]
The 2016 PBA Governors' Cup kicked off last week with big wins from NLEX, Ginebra, Meralco, and Mahindra.
Game Capsules (adapted from Interaksyon):
NLEX ROAD WARRIORS over BLACKWATER ELITE, 96-90 NLEX import Henry Walker made a big impression in his PBA return, scoring 44 points to lead his Road Warriors past the gutsy Blackwater Elite, 96-90, in the PBA Governors' Cup on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Walker shot 15-for-25 (60-percent) from the field and 6-for-13 (46-percent) from three-point range in an impressive offensive showing for NLEX.
Kevin Alas and Mac Baracael each added 12 markers for the Road Warriors, while Jonas Villanueva added 11.
Walker immediately put the league on notice after scoring an incredible 24 of his team's 31 points in the first quarter. He sizzled from beyond the arc, hitting his first four three-point attempts and finished the period shooting 5-for-7 from beyond the arc.
The NLEX import's explosive start allowed his Road Warriors to lead by as many as 17 points in the first stanza.
Lines of the Game: Henry Walker (NLX) - 44pts, 6rebs, 2asts, 2stls, 6 triples, 15/25 FGs Eric Dawson (BLA) - 27pts, 17rebs, 3asts, 2stls, 4blks, 11/18 FGs
BGY. GINEBRA GIN KINGS over GLOBALPORT BATANG PIER, 93-81 The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings, already missing star center Greg Slaughter, overcame an injury to import Paul Harris as they downed the GlobalPort Batang Pier, 93-81, in the PBA Governors' Cup on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Japeth Aguilar posted 21 points, six rebounds and two blocks to lead Ginebra while getting support from Sol Mercado (12 points), Chris Ellis (10 points), LA Tenorio (10 points) and Joe Devance (10 points).
Harris, who exited the game late in the third quarter with a broken right thumb, had 14 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and two blocks.
GlobalPort continued to battle throughout the game, but Tenorio proved steady from the free throw line as he helped Ginebra keep the margin up in the final minute.
Aguilar capped the victory with a big dunk in the endgame.
Pringle finished with 26 points, while Romeo added 15 markers.
MAHINDRA ENFORCERS over STAR HOTSHOTS, 100-92 The Mahindra Enforcers got off to a rousing start to their conference after outlasting the Star Hotshots in overtime, 100-92, in their PBA Governors' Cup opener last Friday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
22-year-old import James White bucked a slow start by scoring 18 of his 22 points in the second half and overtime, while Aldrech Ramos chipped in with 17 points for Mahindra.
The Enforcers' Asian import, Iranian Iman Zandi, also played a key role, going a perfect 5-for-5 from beyond the arc to finish with 15 points. Two other local players - KG Canaleta and Paolo Taha - finished in double figures.
Star's balik-import Marqus Blakely finished with 21 points, 15 rebounds and five assists in the defeat.
Mahindra started strong, largely on the strength of the performances of Zandi, who hit four three-pointers in the first half, and Ramos, who scored 10 markers.
Revilla made a big triple to open overtime and Ramos made a pair of free throws. Star's RR Garcia responded with a trey of his own, though, to keep things close, 92-90.
White and Allein Maliksi then traded baskets before Canaleta made a tough bank shot from the midrange to put again put some distance, 96-92, with 42 seconds left.
After a huge stop of the defensive end, Revilla all but sealed it with two free throws, 98-92, leaving just 23 seconds remaining on the game clock.
Lines of the Game: James White (MAH) - 22pts, 8rebs, 1blk, 10/18 FGs. Marqus Blakely (STA) - 21pts, 15rebs, 5asts, 2blks, 1stl.
MERALCO BOLTS over PHOENIX FUEL MASTERS, 108-103 Allen Durham bullied his way to a dominant outing while veteran point guard Jimmy Alapag provided some excellent support as Meralco took their PBA Governors' Cup opener, 108-103, over Phoenix on Friday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Durham finished with 32 points and 22 rebounds while Alapag had 15 points and team-high six assists to lead Meralco.
Jared Dillinger also finished with 15 points while Chris Newsome added 13. Cliff Hodge had 12 markers.
Phoenix import Marcus Simmons had 21 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists to lead the Fuel Masters.
Phoenix's most recent acquisition, former Alaska guard Cyrus Baguio, was in uniform but did not play.
Lines of the Game: Allen Durham (MER) - 32pts, 22rebs, 5asts, 1stl, 1blk, 10/20 FGs. Marcus Simmons (PHX) - 21pts, 11rebs, 7asts, 3stls, 1blk.
Talk N Text adds Little to their roster, ex Anyang KGC - 2 days ago
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Talk N Text Tropang Texters (PBA) added to their roster 29-year old American swingman Mario Little (198-99kg-87, college: Kansas). He played last season at Anyang KGC in South Korean KBL league. In 62 games he had very impressive stats: 16.8ppg, 4.1rpg and 2.7apg. Little's team made it to the Korean KBL Semifinals. He has played also professionally in Spain (La ICL Manresa), Ukraine (DniproAzot) and D-League (Oklahoma City Blue). Little attended University of Kansas until 2011 and it will... [read more]
Talk N Text Tropang Texters (PBA) added to their roster 29-year old American swingman Mario Little (198-99kg-87, college: Kansas). He played last season at Anyang KGC in South Korean KBL league. In 62 games he had very impressive stats: 16.8ppg, 4.1rpg and 2.7apg. Little's team made it to the Korean KBL Semifinals. He has played also professionally in Spain (La ICL Manresa), Ukraine (DniproAzot) and D-League (Oklahoma City Blue). Little attended University of Kansas until 2011 and it will be his sixth season as a professional player.
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